The only way to improve your average marathon pace is to focus on quality versus quantity. You want to utilize leverage in your marathon preparation. Working hard is the common mantra but the best use leverage.
Leverage simply means doing more with less. The length of time it takes is going to be entirely dependent upon you.
You cannot rush this process. Everyone wants instant results. I can tell you from experience that far too few of us believe in delayed gratification. Who doesn't want instant results right? It is normal.
That being said, marathon success takes time. It took me 5 long years to go from a 2:43:36 to a 2:19:35 marathon.
I had more failures than successes as well.
I always recommend to my readers and at the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel that 16 t0 20 weeks is optimal.
What I also want to add is don't expect everything to always be perfect during your training block.
I had to make a lot of mistakes to finally break the sub-2:22:00 marathon barrier. It took several training blocks for me to finally get the marathon right.
Key Principles To Improve Your Average Marathon Pace
How do you improve upon your average marathon pace over 26.2 miles? It can take a few months up to a few years, at least in regards to running the perfect race. The name of the game is sustaining pace and minimizing slowing down when you fatigue.
Easier said than done right? I wish I had better advice but there is none. It is very difficult to improve your lactate tolerance. The best marathoners make the race look easy for a reason. Here are a few of biggest reasons I was able to go from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. The same principles work for anyone whether you are a 6 hour marathoner or a sub-3 hour marathoner.
- Long periods of time spent at a higher, sustained heart rate
- consistent, weekly track sessions training at or above 175 beats per minute
- work consistently at your aerobic capacity (see above bullet)
- Focus on recovery at all times
- The best marathoners use leverage. They are not focused on working smarter rather than harder
To lower your average marathon pace and sustain it longer takes immense patience. The problem with far too many marathoners is they are in too much of a rush. Worse, they second guess themselves when the results don't come as fast as they would like.
Marathon Courses To Get You There
I created two courses here at rundreamachieve.com to help athletes achieve that leverage bolded above. The first is the Sub 3 Hour Marathon Pro course focused on getting athletes under the sub-3 hour marathon barrier. Are you a 5 hour marathoner seeking to become a 4 hour marathoner?
I highly recommend checking out the 4 Hour Marathon Mastery course. These courses were built with the athlete in mind. I'm tired of seeing too many hard working marathoners missing their time goals. It is time to change up your strategy to yield better results by working smarter rather than harder.
I'm not interested as much in working hard as I am in working smart. Working smart is what it is all about. Does working hard guarantee great results? Yes and no. I ran up to 142 miles a week training to break the 2:22:00 marathon barrier.
The lesson I learned is this. High mileage does not equate to better results. Quality miles over quantity miles does. I ran 2:19:35 running on 80 to 95 miles per week. It isn't about the mileage as much as it is the quality of the miles run that counts.
Benefits of Harder Sustain Efforts
The number one reason to train at a higher heart rate is it improves your lactic acid clearance capability. The more efficient you can clear lactic acid the more economical or efficient you will run.
The problem is this style of training is highly difficult. Remember, focus on minutes spent at a faster pace first and gradually extend the time spent at a higher heart rate.
In addition, it produces more capillary beds within the body. It also recruits more fast twitch muscle fibers. These are physiological adaptations and changes within the body that come about by faster running.
Is running slow still important? Yes. If you neglect this step all of your harder training will not come to fruition. Do not be concerned about pace on recovery days. Focus on time on your feet and the distance run then pace, especially on rest days.
Rundreamachieve marathon courses were built to walk the athlete through the step-by step process to dip under the 3 and 4 hour marathon barriers.
If you are serious improving your average marathon pace get started today. The above mentioned strategies are the reasons I broke the 2:20:00 marathon barrier. Now, it is your turn.